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tv   [untitled]    July 27, 2011 10:00pm-10:30pm PDT

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the types of jurisdiction that have done this successfully. obviously, the economy is probably cramping those efforts. cities that have additional and adjudication mechanisms, though, that have done this successfully. new york has a housing court. we have had property owners try to go and to get a writ to stop us, even in the event of an imminent hazard. they have a mechanism where they can go to a specialized for to do with that. it was successful in that situation. these are just a few things you would have to consider to go in that policy direction. commissioner lee: i have a
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follow-up question on the replenishing process. do do we bill the property owner for cost, or is there a multiplier or penalty process? >> because this is an assessment, not a fee, we are billing them for our cost. however, chapter one warned the property owner, once the building official undertakes the repairs, a property owner is told that it will cost them much more. our costs, to hire a contractor, to contract with the bureau of building repair, is usually three or four times more expensive than them hiring their own contractor. so once we start the repairs, it is their job to make sure the
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department is reimbursed. if you are dealing with punitive damages, then you will need to litigate. that is part of the code enforcement process. this is the emergency order to make the repairs. the code enforcement process for them not adhering to the code is still out there. you may be issuing a notice of violation as well as an emergency order, depending on the conditions. commissioner walker: since dpw is the one that normally goes out, we do not engage contractors, market dpw fees. commissioner murphy: is the category of emergencies objective? is it by virtue of the department to render what is emergency? >> the code has specific language about imminent hazard. the code also talks about the
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fact that the building official has to act reasonably. it has to be something where not just the heat is going out, but an imminent hazard. if the ambient temperature outside is 60 degrees, that will not be as much of a hazard, compared to one of those days that we had, where the temperature is in the 30's. if we are dealing with a central system, we have to then do a tremendous amount of coordination, get the bureau of building repair out there, to assess what they can do on an interim basis to get the system back up. we are not usually dealing with complete replacement or repair. we do not have the fund to deal with those issues. it would be a total shipped from educating, implementing, documenting the requirements of, and enforcing the electrical, mechanical, blogging,
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administrative coats, to building management. you are taking on that responsibility, and you have to do that reasonably. commissioner walker: my thought on this is there is an extreme that warrants us doing something. making sure we have that ability -- and i think we do, it is just expensive at this juncture. i do not think anyone is expanding to becoming the building owner or anything. in the case of something like lack of heat, it can be life- threatening. i think it is something to look at, especially if it is happening everywhere. i do not know if we still have that steam system that buildings hook into. we have to be prepared for our
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responsibility. commissioner murphy: i think if you are living with 50 units and the heat is off, eight days running, 50 tenants have a lot of power regarding putting the pressure on the landlord, so -- >> we will have public comment following this item. you can speak at that time. commissioner hechanova: additional comments? commissioner lee. commissioner lee: i think the department should book through this overall process to see what we can do better. from what i am hearing, i do not think the process is perfect just yet. obviously, there are still some complaints. it is not working for some
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people. but from what i have heard today so far, if i were the property owner, there does not seem to be a whole lot of incentive for me to get the repairs fixed. that is the bottom line. i am not saying the department should go in there and rescue the property owners and tenants, but we should put some emphasis on compelling the property owner to do the work quickly. what is that? from what i hear, if we do the work, we are billing the property owner at cost, and they can drag out the lien process. it is almost as if the owner has no negative effects. they can just let it go through the process. two years later, i will just pay it. it does not sound like we are pushing the property owner's enough. could the department just reveal
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the process? maybe it includes other proposals that we need to take up with other legislative bodies. maybe we can do something more. >> we would be happy to look into it. right now, the last course of action is referring it to the city attorney, which is time consuming but also expensive for the property owners. the vast majority of property owners, when we reach that stage, will take care of the repairs. just takes time to get to the city attorney. litigation committee meets every other month. commissioner walker: the fact that it works, bricks, sort of works, breaks, it gives them the illusion that they have had more time. >> it is an ancient system, it keeps breaking down, and i imagine the parts are hard to
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come by. but we have identified the problem. we have notices of violation in there that will force the owners to replace the boiler with a modern one. that should take care of the problem. commissioner murphy: how many of these do we did a year? >> heat problems? >> citywide? commissioner murphy: similar building, a similar problem. how many of these do we get a year? >> it depends on the building. this particular building, what housing inspector has seen -- commissioner murphy: i just want a simple answer. commissioner walker: not per
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building. >> we see peaks in the winter. we do not get many complaints this time of year. but we tried to be proactive and get in these buildings before the winter and do what we call a heat sweep to make sure that they have all of the equipment, top of the property owners, to try to prevent these types of violations. commissioner lee: i am sorry, this also reminds me. at the last meeting, i asked for some numbers to see how big of a problem this is. could we get some overall life safety complete numbers? -- complaint numbers? >> total number of complaints?
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>> when you are talking about heating, boiler heating, about 6000, 7000 in the system. out of those, we might get a total of 50 a year calling saying we have no heat, no hot water. we go out there, and more times than not, we find out the day that we are going out, there is someone doing the repair on that system. the day that the complaint is coming in is the same day that the owner is getting in touch with the contractor. by the time we are getting out there to have them draw it up, it does not happen. when you are talking about space heating, smaller units, more individual. yes, those could go out.
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getting a complaint about that is usually only when nobody does anything. we do not see that happening that much. commissioner murphy: so the percentage is pretty small? >> yes. they are not leaving them without heat or hot water. normally. there are a few cases, but not normally. >> and you also have to remember, if they are trying to work on the boiler and there is no heat, and they are providing space heaters to the tenants, you need access to their apartments. in some cases, tenants will not allow the landlord access, even to put in a space heater. that is another thing that we run into all the time. sometimes, the owner is prevented from trying to mitigate the problem, like installing a space heater while the boiler is out.
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in some cases, it is an access issue. we run into that quite a bit. commissioner hechanova: can we summarize, ed? >> commissioner lee, we would be glad to get those code enforcement numbers for you. we are glad they working with the property owner at 570 o'farrell. we take these things seriously, and we will continue to enforce it. >> it would be best if we could hurry along and get this thing dealt with before the cold weather, if they are going to replace it. >> absolutely. commissioner hechanova: thank you. >> first, to address mr.
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sweeney, i am not the only one that has called to complain. there have been other complaints. the other thing, in the particular case of no heat for eight days, it was not until the seventh day that the landlord attempted to call a repair man. i called after 24 hours with no heat to dbi. how many days, when the welfare of residents are at stake? in the housing code, under the paragraph purpose, it says the purpose of the code is to provide for the maintenance of the minimum requirements for the protection of life, limb, health, property, safety, and welfare of the general public, owner, and occupants of the residential building. seven days without heat and no
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attempt to repair it. i understand the problem in trying to reimburse the city for the money expended, but i do not think a repairmen coming out and spending two hours is going to be an enormous charge. mr. murphy, last time indicated, it was a small number of landlords that were a problem. i agree with that. i have lived in rental units most of my life. this particular landlord, i have written letters to her and she does not respond. in terms of a director's hearing, nobody came to the directors hearing. commissioner hechanova: were the inspectors able to get into your unit to take a look? >> yes, i was there to open the
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door for them. this is seven days before an attempt was made -- commissioner hechanova: thank you. >> where are the priorities of dbi, if not for the city? the time that i went without heat, the low temperature was 37 degrees. the high temperature in the eight days was 54 degrees. i have lived in cold climates. i do not get that cold, but 45 degrees is cold, when you have that no heat for seven days. and nothing was done. i called dbi, and they come back and issue paper work. then it goes into the ether. thank you. commissioner hechanova: commissioner? commissioner walker: this has been helpful in dealing with the
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issue. i do think seven days without heat, without us doing anything or forcing the issue is too much. i think i hear you. i hope we all hear you. because of the heater comes off and on, it is difficult to pin down. i think we're headed in the right direction, but i do think having an 8-day delay on getting a resolution for heat is wrong. by about five days. commissioner murphy: final comment? >> ken cochran. i did not intend to speak about this, but i heard about it when i came in. i had some experience in this
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area. i live in a building in the city where i ultimately became the property manager because we had a boiler situation like that. no heat or hot water over christmas. four days. i want to point out the difficulty in repairing or replacing a system like that, where there is a asbestos present in the building. even in the best circumstances, it is hard to find contractors who can work in those asbestos containment conditions. if you have to remove the asbestos, that is a huge project. it is going to take a lot longer and is going to be a lot more expensive because of the magnitude of cost. it goes up about three, four times because of the presence of asbestos. even in the best circumstances -- and that kind of asbestos that you find around boilers is one of the dangerous types. i just wanted to make that
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comment. any time you are dealing with asbestos, it is going to make the process more difficult. thank you. >> is there any further public comment? commissioner murphy: i just want to ask one question. had the owner of the party applied to have the asbestos replaced, the boiler replaced? has he or she taken that first step? i would like to know that. >> not as of yet. one that we are definitely doing is calling for an action plan of when they plan to do it, not awarding the contract to somebody if they cannot do that. it has to be done by a contractor. the contractor will have to be awarded that job. what that has been awarded, they
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will be subject to come get the permit and do the repairs and replacement. commissioner walker: you requested that for two weeks? >> i should have a response from the owner of exactly where they are at, what did have been received, the next couple of what they plan to do. as of right now, my inspector went down there and said there were no issues. i can see the urgency to get this started. if it is a hot water system, they are going to be without hot water for a little bit. if it is just for heating, that is different. both will be down for a while. >> thank you. >> item #5 -- an item on the
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update of gray water systems. >> good morning. this is in regards to the plumbing plan check for gray water. i spoke with the puc as of last night as far as where we are at and i know we are questioning where we were at and how we are going forward. as of right now, we have new inspectors coming forward. we have inspectors coming forward for that plan check and we are doing it as needed and as referred to by the puc. there also putting it in a handout and the booklet they will have for contact information with the department and to notify where to get to get plan check for any type of gray water systems that will be installed in san francisco.
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>> how many requests have had four great water plants? >> between 10 and 15. that have actually been requested and been installed, that is seven or nine. >> that is this year? >> that is the past year. >> we required plans from everyone. the only one we have not seen is the landscape where is not required or if there is tanking or holding. >> is there a guideline as to some of the pro-active things a homeowner or property owner can make with regard to the technical component of what the site will allow or typography? >> that is on hand out the puc has. in of the plumbing code which
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works hand in hand. looking at the code will be more from the plumbing standpoint from inspectors and then you have the handout that will be able to give them the basic information of what they need to do and where they need to go and what type of situation you have. >> so both in combination is able to provide the current guidelines for both conditions of sight and code? >> yes. >> terrific. >> the department has a standard set of plans or specs? does the department have handouts as far as plans for specs for a system? >> know, we do not design a system -- no, we do not design
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a system. every system is different as far as the gallon that what they put in their backyards and the location. we do not have a guideline as to how would is supposed to look. their own design is their own design. >> does the department had a list of people? >> not as far as i know. there are some different groups out there that do designs for these systems that do installations and to -- and do the design for the systems. your hiring one of those contractors, they should be able to do both. >> thank you. >> is there any public comment on item number five? seeing none, and no. 68, an update on finances. >> this is a preliminary report
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on their year-end. they don't actually close the books until october or november, but the entries are still going into the system through the end of august. we are still missing a lot of ã9qj? arçj÷ side. the revenues are pretty much in. we are looking at a year-end balance in revenues of almost $5.3 million. most of that is either on the powers board for the terminals and we have been getting a lot of very large project coming in at the end of the year and we started this year. there are many inquiries we have been having and we know the projects will be in in the next couple of months, so things are
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looking up. in terms of expenditures, we all know the salaries are due to the fact we were not able to hire. so we achieved more salary savings than we expected. but there still could be some charges for retiree subsidies and those other things that come in on the fringes and at the end of the year. that savings may be a little high. in the non-personal services, we are behind in several contracts because they have not submitted their billing. that number is going to change at the end of the year. the material supplies -- our scanning and the contractors,
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chinatown, tenderloin, delores, those have not submitted. several of them submit on a quarterly basis and they are behind. that is a typical situation. the materials and supplies, we did not order as many supplies as we originally budgeted. the real one, it looks like there is not going to be any savings is the services of other departments. we do not know that number yet. there are several departments like the city attorney's office and the department of technology -- they have not billed us for everything and i have not paid for the city attorney for the last quarter because there is still some information i'm trying to get and i said i'm not
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going to pay the bill until i get. although there will not be any savings, it should go either way. we are looking at about 3.5 million in expenditure savings and in terms of the excess revenue or revenue above budget, we are looking at about 8.8 million. this is before we do any of the deferred credit. in terms of the projects, we have not completed plan checks and a pay ahead of time, not after the services have been rendered and we have to set aside funding for that. we expect that to be in the neighborhood of $6 million. the intergovernmental projects that include the joint powers board, you prepay in this type
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of situation. so we will be calculating that in the next month or two months when we get all of the information in. we are expecting the surplus to decrease to around $3 million or so. >> thank you. questions? >> i have a couple. on the replacement of the retirees, what process will take place for the balance of the year? or are those going to remain open? the electrical inspectors? >> we have put in requisitions for the retirees. until they retire, you cannot float a requisition, but we started putting those in.
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many of them were approved at the end of the year, but once you announce your retirement, we cannot backfill until you are actually gone. for the most part, we intend to refill those positions. >> all of those positions will be filled that have been retired. we have enough vacancies so that we can hire in to replace our retirees right now. >> i'm always worried about the lag that takes place and how would burton's the department when these individuals on a day of their retirement are not and do not have a replacement in place to pick up the slack for the overload starting to accumulate. >> we all share in your sentiment. >> the next one is on the category of storage of files and such.